Hurricane Harvey: Where is God When the Flood Waters Rise?

houston texas hurricane harvey

Houston, Texas, and other coastal cities are under water, thanks to Hurricane Harvey. The devastation, suffering, and misery are widespread, resulting in horrific death and untold property loss. These communities, much like New Orléans in 2005, will be dealing with the aftermath of Harvey for months and years to come. The political spectacle in Harvey’s wake put forth by Not-My-President Donald Trump and Texas’ Republican congressmen would be laughable if it wasn’t for the backdrop of human suffering and loss. Trump, ever the narcissist — obsessed with the size of his penis — seems more concerned about the size of the crowd at his speech and TV ratings than he does the people of Texas. And then there are the hypocritical Republican senators and representatives, who just months ago who were adamant about massively cutting Federal spending, who are now demanding immediate and huge expenditures of taxpayer money to help Texans recover from Harvey’s torrential, record-breaking downpours.

The “fake” news media will certainly focus much of their attention on the aforementioned subjects. I want to focus, instead, on the irony of a state and cities dominated by Evangelical Christianity being inundated with God-sent, Noah-worthy floods. I am sure some Evangelicals will immediately object, saying that Harvey was a NATURAL disaster, and God should not be blamed for the devastation. Wait a minute. I thought the Evangelical God is in control of everything — that nothing happens unless the Big Man Upstairs puts in a work order?

god in control of the weatherThe Bible is clear on this matter, God is in absolute control of the weather:

And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. Exodus 10:19

And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. Numbers 11:31

For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: Job 28:24-26

But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Jonah 1:4

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.  Jonah 4:7,8

He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.  Psalm 78:26

These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  Psalm 107:24,25

He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Psalm 135:7

And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! Matthew 8:25-27

Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Exodus 9:18

And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:22

Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. Isaiah 29:6

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.Genesis 6:17

Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers. The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Psalm 74:16

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2 Peter 2:4-6

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. Genesis 7:4

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Deuteronomy 11:13-15

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.  Job 37:6

god divine weather man

Now that I have established that what is currently going on in Texas is God’s doing, I want to consider the question, WHY is God doing this? According to the Pew Research Center, seventy-seven percent of Texans are Christian: thirty-one percent Evangelical, twenty-three percent Catholic, thirteen percent mainline Protestant, six percent Black Protestant, and four percent other.  Sixty-five percent of Texans believe that God created everything, including, I assume, rain. The dominant Evangelical sect is the Southern Baptist Convention. Megachurches are everywhere, including the largest church in the country — Lakewood Church in Houston Texas, pastored by the smiling, sending-prayers-your-way multi-millionaire Joel Osteen. I think I can safely say that God is big business in the Lone Star state.

When natural disasters, school shootings, and other tragic losses of life befall non-Texans, God’s prophets in Texas often thunderously say from Mount Self-Righteousness that these events are due to abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, evolution, socialism, Barack Obama, or any of the other hot-button issues that keep Evangelicals up at night — besides YouPorn, that is. Where are all these prophets now with their doom, gloom, God-is-going-to-get-you declarations? Surely the land of Baptists and Republicans is not exempt from God’s judgment. For what, exactly, is God judging Texas? Surely there is no need for anyone to pray. These so-called men of God have shown that they have a direct-line to the Evangelical God’s office. Is the phone line now silent? WHY did their vending machine, on-demand, pour out his wrath on Texas?

I am sure other Evangelicals might throw up the old canard: God’s thought are not our thoughts, God’s ways are not our ways. Who are we to question why God does what he does. Wait another minute. Evangelicals have no problem speaking authoritatively on virtually everything — including that which they know nothing about. But now that disaster has come to their front porch and is materially affecting them, they are clueless as to God’s purposes and design?

Other Evangelicals will likely suggest that Harvey is meant to test the faith of God’s faithful. Think about this for a moment. Last Thursday, God the Evangelical Father is sitting in Heaven’s Board Room with Jesus, Gabriel, and Satan talking about what he plans to do over the weekend:

Let’s see, I think I will send a hurricane and flooding to the coastal region of Texas. Jesus, tell Zeus, Ba’al, and Tezcatlipoca to prepare to ravage Texas with wind,rain, and flooding. Make sure there is billions of dollars property destruction and loss of life. And why you are at it, drown a mother and leave her toddler daughter hanging on to her for dear life. Cool, right? Sure to get BIG ratings! And remind everyone who dares to “prayerfully” complain, that I am the Lord God Almighty and I can do whatever the hell I want to do. Oh, and before I forget, make all of this a test. You know, one of our special tests that make absolutely no sense and for which the answer will always be a m-y-s-t-e-r-y.

I have written all of this to show the absurdity of invoking God’s name in the midst of natural disasters. The God of Evangelicals is a figment of their imagination, and no amount of prayers will stop the rising flood waters currently washing over Texas’ lowlands. What is desperately needed is governmental and human intervention. Imagine leaving everything to the God who supposedly has everything in control; the God who whispers in the ears of suffering Evangelicals, No worries, I’ve got it.

My thoughts are with the people of Texas, especially my friends who are greatly suffering at this time. While I can’t offer up a prayer, light a candle, or utter a “what the fuck, God?” I can use my voice to make sure that the powers that be do all they can to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Now is not the time for partisan political squabbling over money. People are in desperate need of help, and local, state and federal government agencies need to do all they can to meet their needs. Left for another day will be discussions about FEMA, the wisdom of building in flood plains, sprawling development, global climate change, and the Federal flood insurance program. For now, food, water, shelter, medical care, and safety are all that matter.

Note

After writing this post, I did stumble upon a couple of Evangelical preachers who think the flooding in Houston is God’s judgment over abortion, homosexuality, Planned Parenthood, and a former lesbian mayor. Damn, those Lesbians!! It’s all their fault. (That’s snarky sarcasm, by the way.)

First up is Dave “Coach” Daubenmire.

Video Link

And then there’s Rick “You are a Dick” Wiles.

Right Wing Watch had this to say:

End Times radio host Rick Wiles used his “TruNews” broadcast yesterday to declare that the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston’s “affinity for the sexual perversion movement.”

“This is a proud city that, in recent years, has boasted of its allegiance, its dedication, its devotion to the homosexual/lesbian agenda,” he said.

Wiles asserted that Houston is under God’s judgment because it formerly had a mayor who is a lesbian, currently has “a pro-homosexual mayor,” has persecuted Christian pastors in the city and is among “the top-tier, most gay-friendly cities in America.”

“How’s it working out for them right now?” he asked. “Here’s a city that has boasted of its LGBT devotion, it’s affinity for the sexual perversion movement in America. They’re underwater.”

A Charismatic prophetess by the name of Pamela Banda, to whom God gives revelations of what will happen in the future, had the following “vision” on May 24, 2016:

Well on Tuesday May 24 2016, this is what happened. I got off work at 6 am and I was really tired. I ate something, got in bed with my son, and said a short prayer that went like this, “Papa Yahweh, in the name of Yahshua I repent. I ask that your will be done with me and Zion (my son) as we sleep. I pray for divine safety and divine protection. Amen.”

I hadn’t been praying heavy like I should, but in this small prayer I said Yahshua I repent. Well, I turned my head towards the wall and I hadn’t even closed my eyes for a minute before I instantly saw a vision.

I suddenly found myself up in the air in the city of Houston TX. It was daytime. It looked like it was around 10 am. In front of me I could see about four tall gas tanks and other normal things you would see in the city. I live outside of Houston, but I don’t know where the oil tanks are. As I zoomed in on the gas tanks I could see they all had thick black smoke coming from them and one had caught on fire. I thought it was strange to see tall gas tanks in the city because I mostly see them in industrial areas.

Next to the gas tanks was an apartment complex that looked like it was about four or five stories high. All of the sudden, the fire that was on one of the gas tank jumped onto the apartment complex!

All of a sudden the oil tanks caught on fire and, when they did, there was an apartment complex next to them that caught on fire as well. Then the whole apartment building just collapsed. I was in utter shock.

Then out of the corner of my right eye I saw a wave of water that looked around five feet high from where I was up in the air. So it was not as tall as the buildings, but enough to cause severe damage. After that it was like a ripple effect. When I saw the water, I said, “Where did this water come from?” I wondered because I was in the city, nowhere near the beach.

Then the Holy Spirit said, “The water represents judgment. Judgment is coming to Houston and it will be destroyed, desolate, and uninhabitable.”

Again I was stunned! Houston was being destroyed! I got scared because people were screaming and there was nothing anyone could do because it was happening so fast.

I closed my eyes and said, “Yahshua!”

I think the wave of water is what did it for me. Then the water retracted, but then it came back again with force and strong winds. The water was destroying everything in sight. Cars were being flipped over and everything was catching on fire.

When the winds came it moved me in the air and that was when I began to panic because until then I thought I was only seeing a vision. I began to hear people screaming and I suddenly realized none of us were not going to make it. So I began to think, “Oh no!” And I started yelling, “I Repent, I Repent.”

I closed my eyes and said Yahshua several times, then I finally came out of the vision. I opened my eyes and I was in my room, shocked at how real everything was I had just seen and so relieved I didn’t wake up in hell. I was made to understand that if you are in Houston on that day you will not survive. The sky was clear, so nobody was expecting it.

When I came out of the vision, I said to the Lord, “I don’t live in Houston, I live in the Woodlands.”

He said, “Where you are, you are not safe.”

So I prayed and asked Him, “What are my instructions?”

After that prayer, I went to sleep for real. I was so tired, I didn’t dream of anything, but when I woke up, I heard God say to me, “Tell them to seek me and I will tell them where to go for safety. Tell the church three things they need to do.”

If you dare, go read the comments on Banda’s post. Chocked full of grade A prime cray cray.

I suppose I should leave space for when John Piper, Al Mohler, and their fellow Calvinists weigh in on why Hurricane Harvey was all part of God’s master plan. John Piper, in particular, always seems to have time for defending God when natural disaster occur — that is when he isn’t too busy trashing and railing against the LGBTQ community. You can read Piper’s words about the 2007 Interstate 35W bridge collapse here.

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9 Comments

  1. Matilda

    We all knew we wouldn’t have to wait long before the totally predictable responses came from nutty fundies. In a british newspaper today, someone commented, ‘how long before some religious nutcase starts the victim-blaming? If you have enough faith when cut off by floods, you should just pray and then walk on the water to safety’.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Jesus told his disciples that they would do greater works than he did. I would think, then, that Evangelicals affected by the floods could just walk on water just like Jesus did 2,000 years ago.

      Reply
  2. Steve

    Oh for fucks sake Bruce, stop whining! Who the hell do you think sent the boats & helicopters, Satan? Jeez!

    Get with the friggin’ PROGRAM already!!

    Reply
    1. Becky Wiren

      Well, God’s only good with having one man make one giant boat, and kill most of the drowning humans and animals. It makes more sense that Satan would go for modern means to thwart God’s will. 😉

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Good point, Steve. 🙂 We all should be glad that we are far better people than our gods. Jehovah is a lot like Trump. Trump traveled to Texas and didn’t speak to one person who was affected by the hurricane — just like God, AWOL, nowhere to be found. The praise goes to the people on the ground who are helping those in need. In moments like these, I have good thoughts about our country and the human race.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        Touché, my brother 🙂

        Reply
  3. Autumn

    What I would love to see, but never will: NY’s congressional delegation backed by several other hurricane risk states holding up Harvey aid for a public admission and apology from Texas’s delegation for actively preventing the upgrade of public infrastructure in Texas and other places and for aiding and abetting Big Oil’s disinformation campaign on science and global warming just so big oil can make more profits that somehow never seem to come down to their workers in the form of pay increases and safety innovation.

    This apology is written, pre-approved by Patrick Leahy and published as a paid ad in the NY Times, Houston Chronicle and papers in Dallas and Austin.

    Thank you for this small bit of the internet to vent my dream. I’m currently getting rained on here in the Adirondacks by the soggy remains of Harvey.

    Reply
  4. Mike

    Interesting (and sad) how you left all the passages about the earth being Satan’s domain out Bruce – but obvious they didn’t support your rant.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      No need to. Even Satan, per the book of Job, is created by and under the control of God. If Satan is behind the hurricanes, God allowed him to be. You can’t have a sovereign God, the first cause of everything, and she not be responsible for what happens.

      Of course, this discussion is just an academic exercise for me. There is no God, no Satan, and I know exactly where hurricanes come from.

      Reply

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